Ethiopia elects 1st female president; ‘sets the standard’
By ELIAS MESERET
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopian lawmakers on Thursday unanimously elected the country’s first female president, days after approving one of the world’s few “gender-balanced” Cabinets.
Seasoned diplomat Sahle-Work Zewde succeeds Mulatu Teshome in the largely ceremonial post.
“In a patriarchal society such as ours, the appointment of a female head of state not only sets the standard for the future but also normalizes women as decision-makers in public life,” the chief of staff for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in a Twitter post.
Sahle-Work called Ethiopia’s recent transfer of power to the reformist prime minister “exemplary” and said she will focus on bringing together all sides to achieve peace in a country with multiple ethnic-based conflicts in recent months.
Ethiopian lawmakers last week approved a new Cabinet with a record 50 percent female ministers, including the country’s first woman defense minister.
The moves are the latest in sweeping political and…